From thrilling adventures to peaceful sightseeing, Gangtok has it all. A travel junkie will never fall short of activities to do here. Having established itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations, this capital city of Gangtok is adorned with beautiful snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, and crystal-clear waters. To experience the beauty of the place, you have to go out there and indulge in the various activities that the town has to offer. So, let's look at some of the top things to do in Gangtok in summer!
If you are visiting Gangtok, riding the cable car should be at the top of your list. Operating since 2003, taking this two-fold link ropeway is the best way to have a lovely view of the city and the valleys beneath. Each cable car can carry about 24 passengers, but there are no seats so you’ll have to stand.
Since it's one of the top things that tourists like to experience in Gangtok, cable cars are almost always booked. So, make sure you book your ride in advance. Start from Deorali, which is the lowest station. From the road near the Institute of Tibetology, there’s a stairway that leads up to the waiting room. Be prepared to be engulfed by the amazing views of the city from the ropeway. You’ll also get to see the Deorali market, the snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga, and one of the initial tributaries of the Teesta River.
The ride covers a distance of 1 kilometer, with three stations. The starting point of the ropeway is Deoli Bazaar, and it connects to the Tashiling Secretariat via Sikkim Legislative Assembly. You can get down anywhere, but a two-way ride is highly recommended. The ticket price for adults is INR 110 for adults and INR 70 for kids below the age of six. Timings for the ride are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Located just below M. G. Marg, Lal Bazaar is a treat for anyone who loves to go shopping. This is the point where local farmers and artisans from around Gangtok gather to sell their commodities and haggle with one another. Built in 1956, the place is a harmony of colors and is named after a Dewan of Chogyal (king) of Sikkim, J. Lal.
You’ll be able to shop for a variety of products like yak cheese, locally grown vegetables and fruits, dried fish, noodles, homemade incense sticks, and pooja items. You’ll also find local artifacts like bamboo cane baskets, Nepalese knives, and pottery. Another main specialty of this place is the orchid bulbs.
Apart from being able to shop for local items here, you’ll get to meet a diverse group of people from around the city who come here to shop as well as sell. If you want to avoid crowds, it’s best to visit during weekdays, but it's closed on Tuesdays. The market is located on a road down the hill from M. G. Road. It’s within walking distance from most hotels in Gangtok.
Also Read: Gangtok Travel Guide
A pleasant summertime and a picnic by the waterfall, how refreshing does that sound? Originating from different sources, these waterfalls are exactly what their name suggests - seven waterfalls cascading down the green mountains, in parallel unison. The force of these streams flowing down the rugged cliff creates a majestic view that will leave you breathless.
The scenic beauty of the place makes it a hotspot for tourists to hang out and have photography sessions. The view of the sunset at the backdrop of the waterfall is something that every photographer wants to capture. There’s also a waiting shed and cafeteria built by Sikkim’s Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. Stop at these sheds and refresh yourself while you take in the beautiful view around you. This is also a great spot for you to have a picnic with your friends, family, or kids.
Located 32 kilometers from Gangtok, it’ll take you about a 40 minutes drive from the main city to reach here. Local buses within the city will also take you to the waterfalls. Make sure to enquire about the schedule of buses going there at the Gangtok bus stand.
If you want one of the best views of Kanchenjunga Peak, then you must not miss the Tashi Viewpoint. Located on the Gangtok – North Sikkim Highway, it’s named after the late King of Sikkim, Sri Tashi Namgyal, who built it. Mainly a site for viewing sunrises and sunsets, it's a peaceful spot away from the bustling crowd where you can witness the beauty of nature in its full glory.
Known for offering the best view of the mountains in Gangtok, make your way to the viewpoint during the early hours of the morning. Witness the golden touch of the morning rays on the Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu peaks. Be mesmerized by the changing colors of the mountains as the sun illuminates them and passes over them. You can also look for the Labrang and Phodong Monasteries from here. Grab a cup of chai from the cafeteria and munch on some snacks while you enjoy the beautiful view.
Located at a distance of about 7 kilometers from the city, you can easily avail of taxi services from Gangtok to reach your destination. Via NH10, it’ll take you about 23 minutes to reach the viewpoint. The place is open from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm. Make sure you try to reach before 5 in the morning to witness the sunrise since the circular design on top accommodates 4 people at a time.
If you’re the adventurous type and if you don’t try this activity when you visit Gangtok, you are missing out big time! Starting from Kalimpong and going up to Gangtok, this route was used for trade between Tibet and India. Made of several hairpin turns, this route is a thrilling dream come true for riders.
Surrounded by the Himalayas and Kanchenjunga mountains, throughout your ride, there’s no way for you to avoid the adrenaline rush that comes with this trip. The route is smooth and safe with average slopes and is suitable for all age groups. There are also several resting points on the route. You can plan your ride with the help of a tour provider and they will provide you with all the necessary gear, helmets, and bicycles. Professionals will also accompany you on your journey to assist you with their knowledge of long-distance cycling. They will help you with the permits required for the trip.
The ride begins at Sillery Gaon. You can easily get there from the New Jalpaiguri Station, which is about a 4-hour drive via NH10 from Gangtok. Most tour providers will arrange for pick-up and drop-off services; we recommend that you do your research before planning your trip.
Also Read: Best Places To Visit In Gangtok
River rafting is one of the most adventurous activities that Gangtok offers, and what better time to experience it than during the summer? As the cool white water of the Teesta River splashes around you, it's sure to fill you with a thrill like no other. Originating from the Tso Lhamo Lake, Teesta is a major river for the whole of Sikkim. The foaming water of this river makes one of the best stretches for rafting.
Ideal for both beginners and experienced rafters, the river has various spots created by the changing topography. While some are challenging and meant only for experienced rafters, others are just to float on and relax. Rafting here will allow you to pass the slopes of the mountains, and be engulfed by the scenic beauty of the forests. Seeing the fishes swim with you and the birds chirping all around you is sure to elevate your experience.
The distance from Gangtok to Melli (which is the main location for river rafting) is about 50 km (1 hour) via NH10. The package per boat usually costs about INR 5000 for a long trip and INR 4000 for a short trip.
Visiting the hills and not indulging in the local cuisine there will be like buying a bar of chocolate and not eating it. When you think of the local cuisine of Gangtok, you think of M. G. Marg. Lined with sparkling little shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars on both sides, this road is the town center of Gangtok. This makes it the perfect place to explore the local food of Gangtok.
The whole area is a pedestrian-only zone, so you can roam around freely and explore the various food options available here. You can’t miss out on some of the most famous eateries like the Baker’s Cafe, which is a great place for coffee, pastries, patties, momos, and other such snacks. The place also has restaurants and food outlets where you can try dim sum, thukpa, thentuk, wonton, shah-phaley, and other such Tibetan and Indo-Chinese cuisines.
Apart from great food, M. G. Road is also guaranteed to offer you an amazing shopping experience. The roadsides have benches laid out where you can sit and enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere of the area. The road is within a distance of 6 minutes from the main city. On Tuesdays the shops here remain closed, otherwise, they are open from 8 am to 7 pm.
Also Read: Best Homestays In Gangtok
Now that we have given you a list of the top things to do in Gangtok in summer, don’t keep the explorer in you waiting. Pick a date, pack your bags, and set out for an alluring experience in the mountains this summer!
Is Gangtok Hot In Summer?
Summers are the most pleasant time to visit Gangtok. The temperature usually goes up to 22°C during this season, making the weather perfect for exploring the town.
How Can I Spend 3 Days In Gangtok?
On day 1, you can visit the Rumtek Monastery, Ban Jhakri Falls, Du Dro Chorten Stupa, and explore M. G. Marg. On day 2, visit places like Nathu La Pass and Ganesh Tok. Day 3 can be used to visit the Namgyal Institute of Technology and Tashding Monastery or you can also go trekking anywhere near Gangtok. Plan your trip before your visit to cover all the important places.
Which Is The Best Month To Visit Gangtok?
March to June and September to October are considered the best time to visit Gangtok.
Is Gangtok Safe To Travel At Night?
The city is very safe during the day and night as well. You can explore the nightlife in Gangtok without worrying about safety. At night you can explore the pubs here and experience the true spirit of the city.
What Is The Fee For Nathu La Pass?
It costs about INR 700 per person to visit Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir, and Nathula. If you want to take a vehicle, you’ll have to pay INR 7000. This includes permits as well.
Which Rail Station Is Near Gangtok?
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Gangtok. It will take you about 4 hr 5 min (116.6 km) via NH10.
Is Ola Available In Gangtok?
Yes, Ola cab services are available in Gangtok. You can also hire Savaari taxi services to travel in Gangtok.